Are we addicted to the romance of the suffering artist and our artistic arrogance?

Convener(s): Kerry-Jayne Wilson

Participants: Justin, David McG, Sarah Jean Congers, Peter Jen Lunn, Elanor, Gavin O’Carroll, Adeel Akhtar

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

The artist has a tendency to latch on to the idea of suffering because they like to feel special through their being excluded. Is our own sense of entitlement and supremacy the cause of our own suffering rather than the surrounding environment being culpable? The ‘them and us’ disease. It’ s an easy out. With an addiction to your stereotype you can get away with complaining and blaming others rather than do something about it yourself.

Why are commercial, mainstream, money making all dirty words in art? Are we essentially just jealous at their success to make a living from what they love? And are we just making excuses for our lack of business sense to get our shit together. And make it happen.

We as artists at the grass roots level need to be multi-skilled, thinking of the business, marketing, financial ends as worthy and as artistic as the creation of art in the literal sense.

Our artistic arrogance has created a feudal society even within our own business. We think technicians as lesser creative species, commercially successful artists as sell outs bal bla bal Why? We live by clichés and are driven by insecurities and paranoia and our desperation to be accepted and stamped legitimate.

Out with complaining about the arts council and lack of benefactors. And our sense of entitlement to be given money. Fuck that shit. Grow up and move on. We are living in an age when more and more people are becoming self-employed across the board, changing jobs several times in a lifetime. Work independence is a growing phenomenon. Artists need to catch on more to this idea of independence and seek less support on the outside. The power is in us. Tomorrow is in our hands.

Maybe art and all that goes with it is meant to be hard. Like an evolving species we need to adapt to the changing environments in order to survive and therein lies the beauty.

Maybe we have a lot to learn from the no nonsense attitude of the corporate type. They have the bollocks to pursue what they want and get it. If we took a lesson from this we would do a hell of a lot more and suffer less.

Have you ever heard of a business plan?????????????????????????????

Vulnerability is NOT AN ACTOR OR AN ARTISTS PRIVILEGE. Ever heard of Darfur, Tibet, the single mum on a strict budget, the middle aged banker crying like a baby with chronic depression, the kid that just lost the pet dog. Vulnerability does not just start when you decide to paint these stories, write them, perform them, sing them and bla bla bla. Vulnerability happens every effin day when every human being across the world opens their eyes in the morning to get through another day.

Why does art give you the god damn right to be vulnerable???????


Added: Note from Gavin O’Connor (present at the group): This write up is extremely one sided and not representative of all the groups tone. While we agreed with most of the points this was made of a discussion - a rant in reality